Green IT is the most important thing for us currently



Hero Honda Motors, the worlds largest manufacturer of motorcycles, is
adopting green in a major way. Over the past year or so, driven by Vijay Sethi,
VP (information systems), the manufacturing major has been putting into place a
robust green strategy that not only looks at the IT processes but even beyond.
Excerpts

How important is green IT at Hero Honda?
To put it simply, Green IT is the most important thing for us currently from
a corporate perspective. Around 8-10 months back we revised our IT policy and
included green IT as the key thing. Even the top management is involved in
discussing the various aspects. Our vision of the IT policy underlines the
significance of green IT. Being a socially responsible company, we will take
all necessary steps for being environmentally friendly.

Is there more to green IT than cost benefits?
We agree that cost reduction continues to be one of the key drivers of
adoption of green IT, but at the same time one cannot ignore other benefits that
emerged in our case. As a socially responsible organization, we put a lot of
focus on caring for society and the environment. And our focus on green IT
provides an excellent means for that. On the employee front, adoption of green
IT gives them a sense of satisfaction and ownership. They realize that they are
also trying to contribute at their level in saving our environment. From the
organizations perspective we are continually adopting initiatives that help in
improving the productivity in the organization, for instance, using
videoconferencing and collaboration tools. Green IT also helps the IT team in
the day-to-day management of the IT infrastructure, for instance the number of
servers to be managed gets reduced as we virtualize, or the number of printers
to be managed gets reduced.

What green IT initiatives have you undertaken in the last one year or so?
We look at green IT from three perspectivesthe IT activity/equipment being
used, the organizations business/operation perspective, and of course, the
impact on the environment. As for the IT equipments being used in the
organization, we are looking to reduce energy consumption since this is in IT
control directly. We have replaced traditional monitors with TFTs, moved into
energy efficient data centers with power management features. We implemented
consolidation, waste disposal policy and even printer usage reduction. We
created a lot of awareness in the company about reducing wastage of paper in
printers and a lot of people actually volunteered in choosing a paper free work
policy.

We are also working toward introducing videoconferencing and collaboration
tools like WebEx. The critical issue for us here is how to reduce travel. We are
also running a campaign in our company on how to save electricity consumption by
turning off monitors when not working, shutting down lights when not in office,
etc. And last but not the least, IT does help in R&D to make the bikes more
efficient and environmentally friendly.

What is on the anvil in terms of green IT?
We are trying to green our applications which means that we are trying to
consolidate our applications wherever possible, and that means ruling out dead
applications thereby making the IT infrastructure more efficient. We are also
going for energy audit and are trying to use e-learning tools wherever possible.
The e-learning tools would reduce traveling time even during the training period
so that employees can get training from wherever they are. However, it is
important to realize that green IT initiatives can not be a one time affair. We
need to ensure a mechanism to sustain the same. As we move forward in 2009, we
are currently in the process of formulating a formal Green IT Roadmap for the
organization.

Some of the other initiatives that are planned for the coming year include
increasing usage of videoconferencing and collaboration tools for reducing
travel and saving on time and energy; creating further awareness in the
organization; and imparting more thrust on a paper-less office.

Stuti Das
stutid@cybermedia.co.in

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